Insulting ‘Allah’ hurts Muslims & Christians

An outrageous tweet from former test cricketer Rodney Hogg has rightly brought condemnation from the Muslim community. I join them in condemning this despicable comment.

I do not wish to write the words of Hogg’s blasphemy because it derides Allah in saying, ‘Allah is …’. See, with a blasphemy warning. here.

I am grateful to see that Hogg has apologised via two tweets although I believe the seriousness of his insult demands he should go in person to the leadership of the Islamic community and give his apology face-to-face.

Please note that this tweet hurts not just Muslims but also Christians. Why? Because the word ‘Allah’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘god’.

Our Arab Christian brothers and sisters use the name “Allah” for the God of the Bible. Once again, Allah is simply the Arab word for god. In the Arabic Bible, the Word Elohim (Hebrew for God) or Theos (Greek for God) is always translated as Allah. Incidentally, the Arab Christians called God “Allah” LONG BEFORE THE BIRTH OF MUHAMMAD AND ISLAM!

Hogg’s tweet was directed at Muslims but it raises the question of whether or not the ‘Allah’ of the Muslim community is the same as the ‘Allah’ of the Christian community.

The Muslim community has little hesitation in saying that the Christian community’s understanding of God as Tri-une; The One God in three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is blasphemous. For the Muslim Allah is One single unity without any addition of any kind and to associate anything or being with the One God is ‘shirk’ or blasphemy.

This is at best a nuanced discussion within the Christian community because ‘Allah’ was revealed through the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to be a Tri-une God, and thus,

the God (or Allah) of the Bible has radically different attributes and gives mankind a completely different message than the God (or Allah) of Islam. Therefore, in spite of a common name, they cannot be the same!

Yet, when we are to talk of God we must give God a name. How else can we speak of God? The word ‘God’ or ‘Allah’ is then defined in our conversation. An identikit image emerges from our conversation about God which gives meaning to the word ‘God/Allah’.

It is in conversation that is civil, patient and respectful of both similarity and difference that we are called to engage for the love of God and the love of the world in Christ.

Articles, Hogg bowled over by his own tastelessness in pot shot at Muslims  and  The word Allah in the Arabic Bible. A sustained article on the Trinity and Muslim response to it see, The Doctine of the Trinity.

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